Bangladesh: Yacoub's story
In 2012, Yacoub and his family fled inter-communal violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and came to Bangladesh, where they live in a local village in Teknaf, in south-eastern Bangladesh. The 29-year-old unregistered Rohingya works in a local mosque and teaches the Koran to children, but he cannot make enough money to feed his family of six. He hopes to sail to Malaysia to find work.
His wife Shahina, 25, is worried but cannot stop him from making the dangerous journey.
Boats used for fishing during the day are often the same ones smugglers use in the evenings to ferry Rohingya hoping to go onwards to Thailand and Malaysia.
In a rare family outing, Yacoub, takes his wife and children to the beach in Teknaf. Today’s playground could become tomorrow’s graveyard as he prepares to board a smuggler’s boat to Malaysia.
The children may not know it, but their father Yacoub is embarking on a journey he may never return from. He could face rough seas and violence at the hands of smugglers. If he is lucky, he will survive and find a low-paying job in the informal sector in Malaysia, from where he can send remittances back to his family.